Wednesday, January 17, 2018

DeLonghi Espresso maker review

REAL Italian espresso on-the-cheap

Regular blog readers know we're partial to GAGGIA espresso machines, with a Francis-Francis model (named STEWIE for it's Stewie Griffin-like look) as a backup in Italy.

Last year we flew down to Sicily, leaving our Gaggia and Stewie up north. Heather had a machine shipped down here, but it was a piece-of-junk. Some kind of new-fangled gizmo that used a pressure-increasing gadget as part of the filter housing. I'd get a decent espresso out of it, followed by 3 awful ones. I checked out online tech videos but the poor thing just didn't work.

So off we went down to the local consumer electronics shop, finding this DeLonghi model on sale for about $150 US. Based on what was written on the box, Larry thought it would be worth a try,

As you can see, this thing is rather ugly but at this point we no longer cared! We (meaning Uncle Larry) just wanted a way to make a decent espresso at home. Yes, there are great coffee bars all over this island (and Italy) but when you like to spoil your wife with cappuccino in bed each morning, having a machine in your own kitchen is the way to go!

Uncle Larry didn't much want to like this thing - but it works pretty well for the price. We're using the "pod" (cialde in Italy) filter to make one-at-a-time cups. We've tried a bunch of cheaper alternatives to our favorite ILLY caffe to reduce our long-term expenses with pretty good results. The steam wand works fine though Larry prefers just the steam tip since it's easier to clean. Not an option with this one, but it's not too hard to clean, just blast it in a cup of water a couple of times after steaming the milk.


  1. I'm fortunate that I can afford to have "real deal" coffee machines at home and holiday homes. As with you, the Other Half appreciates my compulsion.

    For travel, I'd go Nespresso style. I don't own one, but if time is short and the luggage must be light, it's a workable option. I have just been on a wine weekend (where a few of us get together and do a series of tastings with a designated bus driver) and someone brought a Nespresso which was fine. Not great, but fine. The separate milk frother works OK as well.

    For camping, I just use a stainless steel French press. Simple and almost indestructible.

  2. For travel in the US by car we take a cheapo Gaggia that uses the pods. George Clooney might claim Nespresso is good, but I have my doubts. It's like the way-cool Rocket machines...the only people I see endorsing them are Anglo-Saxons, not of our non-Italian friends has one and the espresso that comes out of it is simply awful. I even gave him some Illy, Lavazza and San Eustachio caffe to try with it - still awful!
    Camping? I'm with my mother-in-law about camping - it's sleeping in a hotel without room service!

  3. Update on this machine - it conked out but the service place was just a few blocks away!! They fixed it at no charge and we're back in biz every morning.